NEW YORK (CBS 2/AP) — It’s become almost a daily tradition, John Lennon fans visiting the Imagine Memorial built in his memory at Strawberry Fields in Central Park, but Saturday on Lennon’s 70th birthday there was a huge turnout of peace and love, CBS 2HD’s Magee Hickey reports.

Three of Lennon’s bandmates from The Quarrymen, the group he formed before the Beatles, were also on hand. “He was just a normal, regular guy. Nothing special about him, no halo over his head, no arrow pointing this guy’s going to be famous. Just a guy from Liverpool. Slightly rebellious but weren’t we all?” said drummer Colin Hanton.

Fans come in all ages and from so many countries and everyone has their reason for loving the music. “We came from Argentina because we love John Lennon,” a tourist said.

“He’s be a beautiful old man and a great musician, only getting better,” said Gary Dos Santos, mayor of Strawberry fields.

“He was a dreamer and we’re all dreamers and he touches my heart and I won’t let that go,” said Marlo Rowe Gorosh.

With a peace and love march in Central Park and two films featuring the Beatles – one looking at John Lennon’s life before the Beatles and the other a documentary examining Lennon’s life in New York City – Saturday was a day just to imagine.

From the British invasion in 1964 to his untimely murder in 1980, Lennon has always had a special relationship with New York City.

“Songs like “Give Me Some Truth” means a lot now, and of course “Give Peace A Chance” of course, you know, “Imagine,” all his political songs really have a lot of meaning right now for people and I think that’s why people revive in his songs,” said Yoko Ono.

To mark Lennon’s 70th, all of his solo albums and have been remastered and re-released. A new PBS documentary chronicles his years in New York.

And a new film, “Nowhere Boy,” brings to life the young John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the birth of the Beatles.

In August in the Big Apple, Last month, here in the city, a very special reunion took place. Lennon’s first wife Cynthia, the woman he left her for, Yoko Ono, and their sons, half-brothers Sean and Julian made a rare appearance together.

At 47, Julian is already seven years older than when his father died. “I’m actually looking at my age and his age, going, ‘Jesus, what happened’?” he said.

In a rare interview, Ono said, her husband would have been as active today as he had ever been. “Well I don’t think that he would have retired. He’s not the retiring type, so he would have been very angry about the situation that’s going on in the world now and probably starting to become an activist again.”

Ono was in Iceland Saturday, where she planned to relight the Imagine Peace Tower, which was dedicated two years ago.

Comments (15)
  1. DCLaw-1 says:

    Agreed!! John was not a prophet, he was a business man. HIs business was selling his hippy BS. “Imagine no possession”………? It is easy to do John when you are sitting at a $50,000 piano in your Central Park West penthouse. And, please, John Lennon did not “give” the world anything, he sold it at market prices. See If Yoko doesn’t unleash her lawyers on anyone using John’s image, no matter the reason. The man was a millionaire. More the Bill Gates of the 60s music scene; he was not the Dahli Llama, Martin Luther King, Ghandi.

    For once, and as cliche as it sounds, it would be nice to see an outpouring of grief and worship like this for a fireman or cop….someone who truly gives to scoiety

  2. DanTe says:

    If Lenon is such a Great Inspiration, why didn’t you all go and practice what he preached? Find a land with “no possessions” and live there in peace. Go. Flights to Cuba and N. Korea is cheap enough. Go.

    Russia used to be better but than they broke down. And China is just pure possessions driven now. Go to Cuba and N. Korea while you still have the chance. GO NOW.

  3. mk says:

    Good riddance Imagine if we had to suffer 30 more years of this nut

  4. Mari says:

    Lennon, great musician, great man!! Imagine the wonderful melodies he had still composed if he had been alive!! Fortunately, I was very lucky to meet him!! Very nice and humble person!!

  5. Michael says:

    I have been a big John Lennon fan since 1964. He would have been the first to say that he was just a guy with a some artistic talent. He would NOT want to be worshipped. Just look at his history while he was alive. He always downplayed his celebrity, though he did it use it for a couple of years to sell his peace mission. Take a listen to “Watching the Wheels”. He is just a man. Having said all that, his premature death still brings me to tears …

  6. Ed Breitner says:

    John Lennon was and is a huge inspiration to so many – I think even for those who believed they were his adversaries.
    – from the time I first heard The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, slipping away at family dinners to be spellbound, “verzaubert” by Meet The Beatles as a kid, the undenialble impact he had until he was taken from us – a timeless spirit.
    I will always love you, John.

  7. Grapost says:

    I wish the media would STOP promoting and portraying John Lennon as some kind of Saint. He was a great musician AND THAT IS ALL! As a person he was very eccentric, Abusive and Violent towards women, a regular drug user and a Heroin Addict in the early 70’s, prone to rediculous publicity stunts for Peace that accomplished NOTHING, not very educated, and a lousy, absentee, uncaring father to his first son Julian. He had NO OTHER successes in his life outside of music. There are 1,000 other people who did more for the Peace movment that sing songs and make speeches who got no MEDIA COVERAGE. He owes much of his importance to being a “Darling Of The Media” for the past 40 years. I have been a Beatles fan since I was 12 years old, but I can still be OBJECTIVE, which the media has never been with Lennon. As Paul McCartney said in his Bio, “ever since John died people have tried to make him out to be Martin Luther Lennon. He was just a regualar guy, and no more.” Which is the TRUTH! But the comment was later removed after a HUGE outcry by the media and fans. People don’t want the truth, they want to believe in the myths the media creates.

    1. Tom E. says:

      FYI – Martin Luther King was just a regular guy, too, who also cheated on his wife. They both,however, did raise our consciousness and made us a better society by promoting peace and justice. No saints, but we loved them both. No one is perfect but don’t let cynicism cloud your life. Peace.

  8. romaro says:

    john lennon was the best spreading peace and love there was really no reason for him to die

  9. DanTe says:

    Stupid airheads. Worshipping a man who advocates “a world with no possessions” and yet, he’s rich as sin. And than all you airheads go and bid up his po$$e$$ion$.

    Typical two-faced hypocrites. Go form a commune and leave us alone. I believe Cuba still practice no possessions. Go.

    1. KPMc says:

      Slow news day, eh Dan?

      1. DanTe says:

        More like re.- t@rd day, “KPMC”. So why aren’t you out more?

  10. chris potter says:

    “Probably starting to become an Activist again”??..There’s a comment calculated to inject currency rather than illuminate the litany of issues John Lennon would’ve fiercely supported during the last thirty years to the peril of those who opposed him.

  11. Christine says:

    There “was” or there is? I’m planning to go, and to whomever wrote this article, you sir, or mam, are confusing me!

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